It’s impossible to describe how much I love food and how much I look forward to and appreciate each meal. It’s a moment of peace, of pleasure. A moment where you connect with people you love around a meal that’s going to give you energy for the whole day. I also feel so grateful for every bite I take, knowing that it’s a wonderful luxury to have access to such big diversity and having the chance to actually sit and enjoy it. I cherish and pay attention to each thing that goes in my body and meticulously pick out the restaurants for our lists as I not only look for the best in terms of quality, service and choice but also for places that will not only make me feel like I’ve eaten enough, I look for places that have healthy picks with dishes that will actually nourish my body with proteins, fibers, vitamins and so on. Not only the ones that “look” good.
Since James and I are basically living on the go, we eat at home very rarely and need to constantly find places where we can enjoy yummy food that’s also healthy enough for us to handle the intensive rhythm of the day. When we first started travelling 3 years ago, I gained so much weight by going constantly out for dinner and lunch. You feel this pressure like you constantly need to indulge because you’re travelling, or simply grab something on the go without really caring if it’s good for you. I do love discovering surprising tastes and local dishes, but I also do love keeping a balance between pleasure, health and real need.
I have to say that Los Angeles is very easy regarding the healthy thing. People are so dedicated, and especially so interested to elevate their diet and bring it to another level. Not only do they juice constantly, but they also have the best kale salads ever. It’s so easy to find a gluten free bakery and you can ask anywhere anytime for some soya milk in your latte. Which is a big win for me!
I am very happy to introduce you guys to a new City Guide focused on food in Los Angeles! During one month, James and I hand picked several places (thanks to recommendations and online research), tried them out and now share with you our absolute favorite ones! If you’re coming to L.A for the first time, then make sure to try some of the names mentioned bellow. You won’t be disappointed believe me! If you’re the kind of person that likes to put a little money in order to eat well, then this is for you. If you prefer to feed yourself with Vogue, I can also understand ;) happy reading and Bon Appétit!
1. Café Gratitude 639 N Larchmont Blvd (website)
I had to put this spot at the top of the list because I literally fell in love with it. It’s all about healthy, organic, vegan dishes but full of flavors and super consistent! You definitely won’t come out being hungry, believe me. What’s pretty nice about it is the whole “being grateful” concept around the food. Each dish in the menu has a spiritual name to it. The service is super cool and laid back, the ambiance very casual. I was surprised to see a really diverse crowd, from mothers, to students, to business men : everybody who needs a tasty yet healthy intake comes here! It’s so easy to get addicted… P.S You need to try their delicious drinks, so many great juices, smoothies and teas /coffees. You’ll be full like a pumpkin in just a few seconds!
2. Baby Cakes NYC 236 N Larchmont Blvd (website)
Since I found out that I was gluten intolerant, it was a nightmare to get my sugar fix. And my gosh do I need it… I’ve been trying so many vegan spots and the desserts have always felt to heavy, too nutty and honestly not so good. But I didn’t give up and when I heard of Baby Cakes, I knew I had to go straight away and you know what… turns out it is the grail of the holy grails. Their red velvet cupcake is like my angel guardian, saving me from my sweet tooth crisis. Not even joking. Can you imagine, all their desserts are vegan (no milk, no eggs, no honey, no no no) and gluten free!? James and I tried the cookies sandwich, cupcake and scone : everything (cupcake above all) was incredible.
3. Intelligentsia 1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd (website)
Are you a coffee addict? If the answer is yes, then here’s your spot. Super trendy and very popular in Los Angeles, Intelligentsia is known to serve some of the best coffees in town. Not to mention that the whole branding of the place is super nice, very raw, modern and definitely with a little hipster New York touch. I fell in love with their soya chai latte, that I like to have iced (the warm one is also very good!). Once you try it, you’ll go back all the time.
4. Sugarfish 600 W 7th St #150 (website)
So as you might remember from our New York city guide, James and I are both big fans of Japanese cuisine so we obviously wanted to find a good restaurant in Los Angeles to indulge with some fresh sashimi and sushi. The fish we got served was absolutely impeccable, super fine and delicious. BUT you better really love sushi if you come because it is more of a sushi restaurant than a proper Japanese restaurant where you can order miso soup or tofu. Here, it’s all about the traditional maki elevated 10 times better.
5. Carmella Ice Cream and Bakery 7920 W 3rd St (website)
Holy cats. Holy molly of cats. THIS is one of the best ice cream spots I have ever tried. And I have been to Italy several times, Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, you name it. THIS spot is truly something. It’s a pearl hidden not far from the Grove but seriously so worth the getaway. The flavors are so special and researched, I tried several ones (thank god you can sample every flavor before making your final choice) but I really remember one that’s made of honey and lavender. An absolute, mouthwatering paradise. Highly suggest.
6. Gjelina 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd (website)
This place is super nice because of it’s location (Abbot Kinney is one of my favorite areas in Los Angeles, full of adorable little shops and great organic/healthy spots to get a sweet vegan fix or juice a little), it’s interior, which is super cool with NY inspirations behind those red brick walls but above all it’s super fresh and delicious food. I got crazy over the spinach salad but our friends loved the Pizza. It’s kind of a must while in Los Angeles, the crowd hanging out there is really awesome and trendy, maybe you’ll manage to spot somebody you follow on social media or a local celebrity…!
7. The Ivy 113 N Robertson Blvd (website)
Located on probably the most tempting shopping streets in Los Angeles, the Ivy is THE spot to go to after a long day of fashion shopping drama. Voluntarily a little “kitch”, the spot is all about vivid colors, flowers, big garnished dishes and a feeling of being home and having your mom cooking for you. There are so many good things in the menu (I personally loved the fish but their cobb salad is super famous as we’ll) I feel like it’s very difficult to get disappointed honestly. But in any case, you need to have that red velvet cake at the end of the meal. It’s real magic (and nope it’s not gluten free or vegan, it’s full on cream and butter but sometimes you just gotta say who cares!).
8. Bottega Louie 700 S Grand Ave (website)
Or the californian Ladurée! Although, to be totally honest their macarons are clearly not as good as the french ones, the dessert selection however is mind blowing (and so Instagramable, have your phone ready). Surprisingly I’d tell you to go there and have something else than the little colorful macarons. Try their delicious lemon curd pie, or the many other pretty options they have. I personally loved the giant raspberry macaron, it didn’t taste at all like the little ones, it was so fresh and good. One thing I can tell you for sure, the place is so nice you’ll want to stay for a while just looking at all the cute packagings. Now nothing is vegan or gluten free but their hot soya chai tea latte is incre-di-ble, totally a concurrence to Intelligentsia!
10. Café Stella 3932 Sunset Blvd (website)
A true little gem hidden in Silverlake, Café Stella is one of those perfect spots for brunch. Their eggs are to die for, not to mention the salads (I’ve had the Niçoise one, can’t even describe how everything was so fresh and delicious). Since Intelligentsia is right next to them, they’ll serve you one of their delicious lattes with your omelette or poached egg and you’ll be high up in the clouds! P.S Their avocado toast is super yummy, go ahead and ask them to add a poached egg on top for a lithe extra protein!
11. L.A Chapter at the Ace hotel 929 Broadway (website)
Cooler than cool, get served by awesome bearded hipsters and enjoy some absolutely delicious brunch dishes. From oat meal to traditional eggs benedict, you got enough options to find what suits you best. I actually made a special request for an egg white omelette with spinach (my favorite thing to have) and they were so friendly and flexible about it even though it wasn’t on the menu. Turns out I loved it! Their avocados were super creamy and fresh and their coffee a real booster for the day!
12. Shutters on the beach 1 Pico Blvd (website)
First of all, the hotel by it self is a pure dream and escape into paradise. Right in Santa Monica, 2 minutes away from the beach, Shutters is such a airy and dreamy spot, and don’t even try to top it off in terms of quality… They have several restaurants, we had the chance to try two of them but I absolutely loved their Coast one which is very relaxed and perfect for lunch time with a variety of fresh healthy salads.
13. Hinoki & The Bird 10 Century Drive (website)
H&B is my favorite among this list in terms of interior and ambiance. I love how it’s luxury but elevated into something much more modern and sophisticated. With all the places that we’ve been to in Los Angeles, which are very laid back and cool (and I love it!!) this one is one of the finest ones I would say. It’s much more business meeting appropriate and the food, asian fusion, is truly worth it. It’s nice to have several options and to share them all in the middle of the table!
14. Eveleigh 8752 Sunset Blvd (website)
Have a little cocktail at the Chateau Marmont just before coming (just a couple of minutes away!) because the wait, even if you have a reservation, is quite long. But you know what, I would dare to say that it’s worth it. Or that I at least get the hype. I mean the place is totally competing with H&B for it’s interior and ambiance even if it’s two completely different styles. Eveleigh is very kind of old school and rustic. They won prices for their ambiance and interior decor, so it’s clearly worth your time. Their fish and quinoa is very good but I would say that the desserts at the end of the meal are really what you should be looking forward to. We shared some peanut butter ice cream and it was one of the best things I’ve ever had.
15. Shojin 12406 W Washington Blvd (website)
One of our best discoveries in Los Angeles. Being a huge fan of Japanese food and vegan food, Shojin manages to combine both together!!! You’ll eat the most incredible tofu of your life here and enjoy so many great vegetable dishes, full of flavors and cooked absolutely perfectly. The service is probably the best part about this place (which is so hard to spot from the street : there is no sign or what so ever) is the service. I’ve been seen such a friendly and careful staff. If you go, please tip them well for me :)
16. Groundwork Coffee 108 W 2nd St (website)
Think about getting a mani/pedi right next at Bellacure, then head to Groundwork for a delicious coffee fix. I really enjoyed their iced soya chai (I tell you, I am so addicted to it) but also the whole ambiance of the place. You can also grab a little snack or a juice from press and go on with your day feeling refreshened!
17. Alfred’s 8428 Melrose Pl (website)
Probably one of the coolest coffee shops I’ve ever been to. Their drinks are simply awesome (from chai, to lattes, you’ll get the best quality) but such as all the healthy snacks they’ll prepare for breakfast, lunch or just quick fixes like a cookie or a croissant. They also have juices from Pressed and… a super good wi-fi connection! Which is a BIG yes for me in any case. The neighborhood is also super cool, with Isabel Marant just a couple of minutes away.
18. Fig n’ Olive 8490 Melrose Pl (website)
Exactly 2 minutes away from Alfred’s, Fig n’ Olive is another option quite similar to H&B in terms of ambiance. It’s very business meeting friendly, super chic and quite luxurious. You’ll be served delicious sunny food, a lot of olive oil in the process obviously the name speaks for it, but also some very good raw fish. Try to have the cooked salmon, it’s so healthy and delicious, but don’t miss out on their delicious crostinis if it’s your first time! You’ll love these little tartines full of flavors.
19. Sushi Gen 422 E 2nd St (website)
Some say it is the best place for sushi in Los Angeles. One thing is for sure, you’ll get the real, authentic Japanese experience here and not just an L.A version. Located in the Little Tokyo area, Sushi Gen is not only about sushi in fact. You’ll get to enjoy some miso soup that’s right on point as well, or you can try some of the multiple other dishes they suggest. But obviously, try the sashimi just in order to see the quality of the raw fish and it’s freshness. It’s absolutely incredible!
20. Bouchon 235 N Canon Dr (website)
If Bottega Louie have the prettiest window displays and dessers you’ll probably ever come across with in Los Angeles, Bouchon is all about quality and taste. Their macarons are seriously delicious (still not as good as Ladurée though) but much better than the ones from Bottega. They also serve a very cool lunch with many dishes like meat, salads or fish. It’s the perfect spot to hang out in the middle of the day while having fun on Rodeo Drive.
21. Gracias Madre 8905 Melrose Ave (website)
Let’s end this list with another one of my top top top favorites from all the names mentioned above. You ever heard of Mexican vegan food? Well you need to try it. I don’t even feel like I should tell you more as you should just go there asap. It’s spicy but so tasty, healthy but so fulfilling and the place… my my. The place by itself is a pure beauty. Make sure to try the horchata, it’s the perfect drink to have while you’re having a spicy dish! Enjoy :)
Thank you so much for reading loves! I wish you all a Bon Appétit and lots of pleasure trying these amazing places. Make sure to submit your own suggestions for any interesting lifestyle places around the world underneath this article or on social media tagging #kaytureplaces! x x x